Introducing Colour Analyst Anette Henriksen

March 23, 2014 by · 15 Comments 

Today, it is my honour to introduce to you a very beautiful person. When we met last year, Anette already had a great knowledge of the history of colour analysis and many of the methods that have been used. With meticulous training and drapes of uncompromising accuracy, Anette will bring her intelligence and experience to the European client. You met Anette briefly in the article by Anne-Cathrine Riebnitzsky, Sharing A Colour Journey. To perform your colour analysis, you will find a woman of great compassion, kindness, practicality, and generosity. I love my time with her because she is openly committed to making the choices that bring joy into her life and to sharing that energy with others.




In Anette’s own words,

In September 2013, I finally had the opportunity to travel to Canada to become certified by Christine as a 12 Blueprints Colour Consultant.

I have been interested in colour analysis for a long time. In 2009, I traveled to London U.K. to be certified as a Colour Me Beautiful (CMB) consultant. I thought it was the best colour system in Europe at that time,  the company is well known and has existed for a long time, so a safe choice for me and their drapes are beautiful colours.

After a while I started to feel, that something was not quite right for me. It was too difficult for me to work with the system, because I was missing a plan of action to go from A to B.

After seaching and reading all I could on the internet for answers, I ended up finding the Sci\ART 12 Tone system. I could not let go of that approach, as it seemed to make a lot of sense to me.

Turning to Christine for a second colour education was the best thing I could do. All my questions were answered and the right tools to get the most accurate results were given to me, which was my biggest concern in CMB.

The one thing that surprised me the most in all this and which I was not prepared for, was the fact that I was NOT a Bright Spring, which I had lived as in many years. I turned out to be a Dark Autumn in the 12 Tone System.

I am still struggling a little bit, but it is getting better every day and I am starting to see myself from a whole new perspective. Very odd, how easy it is to see others colouring, but not oneself, even after education ! Also very exciting and I have learned a lot about personal colouring and the beauty in yourself when your true colours are found. Even though I have lived as a Bright Spring, I now see that I actually had a lot of Dark Autumn clothes.

So why, do/did I have a hard time letting Bright Spring clothes go ? I think, it is because I want to stay young and fresh to look at (I am soon 50 years old) and my personality also feels very alive and optimistic. I do want people to “notice” me. I am not the kind of girl hiding behind my clothes, my car has always been bright red, and my home is full of bright colours. I think, that is mainly one of the reasons, why I wanted to be a Bright Spring.

Here are two photos. In the top one, I am wearing a Bright Spring blue jacket. In the second one, I wear a Dark Autumn colour.






My own journey is the best example of why I love personal colour analysis. It can have a very strong influence in changing a person’s feeling about themselves for the better. People become more self-confident. I love to know that I can help them buy clothing and make-up more wisely. That is a really great thing.Why would we waste our hard earned money on something that is not our very best ?

My mission and hope for the people I drape are to help them discover the beauty they already contain. Every person can make this gorgeous aspect shine to their own advantage by using their best unique palette of colours.

An accurate colour analysis is as good and useful to a person as the struggle of a misjudged analysis is hard and difficult. I have seen this many times reading the colour groups on facebook. It makes me very sad.

I want to do whatever I can to find your true/correct homebase/season. I will not compromise on the time to get there together with you. If we have to use more than 2-3 hours to narrow down the right conclusion, we do.

Of course I can not promise you to be 100 % correct for the rest of my life doing this. Every human being can make mistakes (and they will), but I can assure you, that the Test and Luxury Drapes (I own both) from 12 Blueprints are calibrated and very accurate. This is very important, together with using Full Spectrum lighting, to get to the correct final result.

One thing I have learned over the years about colour analysis is that this is not always easy. Every human being is unique. But it can be life changing and that is the reason why I found this so compelling, exciting and fascinating. I knew that it had to be a part of my life !




To share some of my background, for the last 14 years, I have had a professional career as a Medical Representative with a large drug and wellness company (Novartis Healthcare), visiting doctors with all kinds of medical products. Although this has been a lot of fun, I feel my time has come for new opportunities. I hope to be able to combine it with my colour business, where my real passions lies!

If you would like me to help you, we will work together as a team. I would be happy to invite you to my home in Bramming (Denmark), where I live with my husband (Steffen) and three children (Martin, Louise and Mette).

I have a nice colour studio in my home (in a separate room), where I will drape you. Over the years I have invested in a lot of colour equipment from all 12 big posters from True Colour Australia to differents kinds of colour wheels and colour palettes.

It may become an option for me to travel in Europa to bring you the method I have learned. It will depend on whether there is interest. I have begun a travel request file. If you would like for my business to visit your city, please send an email at the contact info below. Once there is enough interest, I will begin planning the visit.

If you want to, you can also travel by train or plane to see me and you can stay one night in our house, it is all up to you !

Yours sincerely,




Contact info:

Anette Henriksen

Bøgely 29

6740 Bramming


Phone: +45 75101347

Cell: + 45 27851125


Website: (coming soon)







Personal Luxury Drapes

January 25, 2014 by · 5 Comments 

Numerous requests have arrived to offer the Luxury Drapes as single Season sets for clients who have enjoyed a 12 Season Sci\ART-based Personal Colour Analysis. I am very happy to do this.

Do you know which drapes I mean? Once we knew your Season with the Test Drapes (took about an hour, hour and a half? with me or Terry (my excellent trainer, always my teacher, we work as a team on the drape colour selections)), but before we removed the fabulous gray scarf that you wanted to take home and wear forever but I wouldn’t give you :),

we took a separate set of drapes out of another tub. These Luxury Drapes were heavy and kept slipping off. I began by reminding you “Don’t think of them as 15 turtlenecks.” We turned the pages and talked about how you wear your colours. Once your makeup was on and the scarf off, we looked at these drapes once again. In some cases, if we weren’t sure about your Season, we might have compared them with another set, choosing a blue and a blue, or comparing colours that were extremes for the two Seasons.

Photo: vtorous

Photo: vtorous


There’s great value in having an experienced colour analyst (two of us, in fact!) translate your swatches to their manifestation in fabric. Once you see how 15 of your colours are interpreted in various textiles, it’s far easier to extrapolate the other 40 to 50 colours in your colour palette.

The drapes will be the full 18″ x  34″ size that are in the analyst sets, grommetted, stamped, and tagged, exactly as the analysts are using.

Full sized drapes, rather than napkin-sized pieces or smaller squares, are my preference by far. You just gotta have enough colour. As with cosmetics, if the colour’s right, you can wear almost any amount of it. A small sample doesn’t challenge our colouring enough to show us that it will adopt or reject a colour. It won’t bring out all the possible good or enough surefire evidence that’s it not good. The large size allows you to reach the drape fully round your shoulders to get the most colour effect.

You are buying these fabrics to visualize harmony with your colours and features, and also to imagine a wardrobe and the interactions among its colours. The large size ensures that you have sufficient fabric to be the size of a piece of clothing to make outfits. The blocks will be big enough to demonstrate what equivalent energy means. More colour makes it far easier to decide whether a colour can take part in a relationship, or will be not enough or too much. When Terry and I are challenged with a certain colour’s Season, we lay out the Luxury Drapes with the mystery item in the chain. If it doesn’t belong, you can spot it right away.

Photo: nkzs

Photo: nkzs


You will enjoy watching the two-way energizing effect of true colour harmony. Lay your fanned out swatch book palette on the drape fabrics. Notice that each every colour is very vibrant, in focus, and the fabric underneath is also the most it can be. These two things bring out the best in each other. Understand this better by placing your swatch book on items in your house, furnishings or other clothing. Pay attention to the swatch colours and to the colour underneath. Begin with an item that you know is far from your own colours. Notice that the palette lacks the colour energy and vitality that it has on your drapes, or the opposite, that the palette is dominating the background colours, as if it were separating or sitting far above it.  What is happening to the palette is happening to your face. Every item you buy should cause every swatch of the palette to be as strong, and strengthened equally, as it is on your drapes.

Analysts already have white, yellow, green, blue, and red in the Test Drapes. The Luxury Drapes contain colours that we don’t test with (purple, for instance), beautiful versions of colours we do test with (more greens, reds, and so on), and more versions of colours that are spectacular on that particular colouring (turquoise and shine on Springs).

Test colours are somewhat proprietary and won’t be included. However, I do feel that you should have your white in your Personal Luxury Drapes. One colour will be substituted for white in these sets (unless you indicate otherwise). If there’s a certain colour that you’re having trouble with, say Summer yellow, I’m happy to substitute that as well.

Photo: yinney

Photo: yinney


At this time, I have a fairly large fabric inventory. Limiting myself to only 15 colours per set for the analysts can be a struggle. I want everyone to have every colour. You are welcome to request as many colours as I have (price below). You are also welcome to request certain types of colours (reds, level of shine, hair or cosmetic colours, neutrals, your black or alternative), if I have that material. Once a set has been purchased, adding to it in the future is too complicated to describe. Best to buy everything you might want the first time.

A personalized letter accompanies the purchase. It outlines the information held by the drapes and how to make use of them to guide your purchases, with situations that might arise for each Season. For example, the Neutral Season drapes will contain the warm and cool versions of most colours.

The precise fan colours are not necessarily represented and they don’t need to be. Maybe it’s better that they’re not, to give you a sense of the Season’s borders in colour space, often wider than what the literal interpretation of the swatch books suggests. Remember that you have a thousand colours that are not in those fans. The drapes can teach you to select any colour that can harmonize with your Season.

Drapes are the swatch books taken to the next level, as their physical representation. The swatches in the books are small, and although incredibly effective, the size places some limitations on your perception of the colour. If you looked at a swatch and I help up the corresponding garment or textile, you might say, “Oh, is that what that looks like?” Or maybe you wouldn’t but I do.

The PCA process moves in a line. It begins with the colour theories and charts that provide the building blocks for the palettes. From the palettes to the Test drapes, you have moved into physical expression, though still in the land of theory. From Test to Luxury drapes, you cross the bridge from theory to real world application, the simulation of a shopping experience. So roll your clothing, accessories, shoes, and jewelry around in your Luxury drapes before deciding which purchases to keep.

I am excited to make this vital aspect of a working colour analyst’s tool kit available for you. The more ways you see your colours, the better you understand, recognize, and use them. There’s nothing I want more.

Photo: Andreius

Photo: Andreius


To support the colour analysts, it is only right that they purchase the drapes at a lower cost than their clients.

Retail price for a set of 15 full sized drapes is CDN $465 ($31 per drape), therefore 15% more than for analysts.

For Canadians who live in HST-applicable provinces, the 13% HST is added for a total of CDN $525.45.

Drapes must ship from Canada. Residents of other countries do not pay the HST. I cannot say what duties or taxes are required in your country. They will be insured for $500.

Only one Season’s set will be sold to an individual.

Other colour analysis systems use different colour collections in their Seasons. I don’t want our palettes to create conflict in their clients’ process or practice. In your inquiry to me about the drapes, please mention which Sci\ART analyst you saw for your PCA. This purchase is not refundable so please be very certain that your Season is correct and you feel good with it.

If you would like to purchase your Personal Luxury Drapes, please email me at



Bright Winter Q and A

November 29, 2013 by · 19 Comments 

I seem to be in a groove of seeing so many Bright Winters lately that I figure I’m still supposed to write about it.

The reaction a person has to learning that their natural colouring falls into the Bright Winter group is either delight or despair. Seldom is there anything in between. The reason for most Season misgivings comes from misunderstanding the colours or the analysis process.

Some of the information below may be hard to imagine. It’s the only way I know to explain it. (Analyst who were trained by me will receive the discussion below soon in their Review Topics documents – and it will be even more technical.)

Here some come concerns Bright Winters may have:

Q: If I’m a Bright Winter, why do I look too blue in some of the Bright Winter drapes?

Short A: Because you’re warmer than the drape.

Long A: Depending on the person, this type of colouring is extremely finely adjusted and very sensitive to excessive darkness, redness, and or blueness. Some people handle the blue very well, almost as cool as True Winter can handle, but they become gaunt in black. Others can develop red spots in the cheeks, like a feverish face, in too much blue-red influence but they have no problem with darkness.

To match the exact coolness level of every Bright Winter, the analyst would need approximately 4 blue drapes. And then 4 reds, 4 greens. And then repeat that for all the possible tolerances to hue, value, and chroma of every person in all 12 Seasons. Not reasonable.

Also not necessary. The analyst with a comprehensive understanding of the analysis process is prepared to choose the Season because it’s better than the others, not necessarily it’s the best possible choice of this colour on this person. The client shouldn’t expect every Bright Winter drape to be perfection on every Bright Winter face. You find yourself inside your correct colour parameters. Sometimes, an analyst’s decision feels like a compromise and doesn’t make sense, but it’s still the best and correct decision of the comparison.

I am a Dark Winter.

I need makeup to wear black. Makes sense, black is only automatic on True Winter.

I can wear some medium and dark True Summer colour. Makes sense, True Summer is a little warmer and more muted than True Winter. So is Dark Winter.

True Spring colours clear my eyes better than True Autumn, if the two are being compared. Makes sense, Winter is looking for more clarity than Autumn provides.

I love and can wear Dark Autumn dark colours. Makes sense, I’m more warm and muted than many Dark Winters and darker colours are pretty easy on Dark Seasons.

None of that makes me a Spring, Summer, or Autumn.

If all people were exactly the same within one Season, then all the women of that Season could wear exactly the same lipsticks equally. Not the truth at all. My perfect lipstick colour is dull and disappearing on a cooler, clearer Dark Winter. There are ranges inside each Season. If the information clues were picked up along the analysis path, the right decision will be made at the end. The analyst doesn’t need to have my perfect Dark Winter blue drape in her set to know I am a Dark Winter. There might be versions of blue that I would wear a lot better than the blue drape she might have, but she learned my face, did her comparisons, knew what to look for and how to interpret it. A Season decision is a moving target until the very last comparison.

The Test Drapes are special. They’re measuring and comparing. Don’t look for home in them. Don’t expect to be finally and ultimately perfected. You need only be better than in any other. The same exquisite tolerance to colour parameters happens in all Seasons, but because Winter’s scale is so big and this colouring quite delicate, the disparity gets noticed more.

The public might not always understand. Don’t pay too much attention to the chat room group. They can’t know how it works because they’ve never been shown. All they see is the end result. One appendectomy can look like another if all you see are the people 3 weeks later. What happened in between may be wildly different. One person might never have had appendicitis in the first place. One might finally get rid of abdominal pain that’s haunted her for months. Another might be sure the surgeon made a mistake, but the fact is that sutures are more irritating to her tissues than the average while the surgical technique was exemplary. Her chat room group wouldn’t know any of that, but they’d make judgments and give opinions anyhow in an effort to support her.


Photo: helen25

Photo: helen25

clear water, close to white, more icy (Winter)


Q: Why is the bottom half of the face so darkened by black if I am Winter?

Short A: This is a WAY lighter Winter. Even True Winter isn’t all that dark. There are many blonde and light-brown haired True Winters with light eyes. Many.

Long A: Nothing applies to everybody. Some Bright Winters, even blonde haired, blue-eyed persons, are fine with darkness. Others who might be darker to look at will have a definite upper limit for darkness. Some can manage strong darkness in blue or green, but begin having detracting optical effects in the appearance at medium gray. Some are fine with shiny black, as long as True Winter blue is extracted, but are not good in matte black. Texture matters to a composition as much as line and colour do; therefore, texture matters in personal colour analysis (PCA).

The only more ghoulish Goth than Bright Winter would be the Light, True, and Bright Spring. All four types of natural colouring, or Season, or Tone, look light, bright, and clean. What about that sounds Goth? They conflict with the dark, depressing, serious Goth look – OTOH, maybe Goth are supposed to look compromised. Glowing and Goth doesn’t match. Bright Seasons are glowy. That’s how their skin reflects light. They look too healthy and vital for Gothness.

From the document that I send my clients:

Bright Winter epitomizes the sugar frosting of snow and sunlight. The innocent fairy tale character could wear shimmery violet-pink eyeshadow, blush, and lipgloss, adding even more crispness and show biz with near black eyeliner and big lashes.

Many Bright Winters are blonde and blue-eyed, with a feeling of girl-next-door, like the stereotypic Light Summer, except for the strong, clear, sparking eyes. Other lighter Bright Winters look Scandinavian/Nordic Ice Princess. Although some Bright Springs have the coolness that feels like royal distance, most are more informal, bubbly, chatty, rounded in their edges, and natural in their energy.

Photo: quil

Photo: quil

more pigment, more gray, closer to pastel (more Summer) – where does icy end and pastel begin?


Q: So Christine, you’re saying that all Brights can always take any level of saturation?

Short A: There is no Always, Must, Should, or Never in human colouring.

Long A: Textiles can be saturated beyond what you’d find in a human being. There are colours that will overwhelm even a Bright. I am saying that on a comparative scale of humans, Brights are most harmonized and flattered in the purest pigments.

Photo: noohoo

Photo: noohoo

icy grays made of B&W (Winter eyes)


Q: What if you said I’m a Bright Winter, which still I don’t believe BTW, and I look really dark?

 Short A: Then you are a Bright Winter who looks dark.

Long A: In the colour analyst training course, my students and I spend our first morning proving to ourselves that our eyes are rather clueless about looking at paint chips and knowing their colour dimensions. I guess we could see which is lighter between 2 colours of equal saturation. Change the saturation setting of one paint chip and we lose it. We guess wrong. If we can’t guess a paint chip, how much harder must it be to gauge a human face just by looking. You need a way to measure, a.k.a. drapes.

You look dark, fine. Your most important colour attribute is still that your pigmentation is very clean and clear. You are more clear than you are dark, but no rule says you can’t be both to some degree. It’s knowing the amount of each one relative to the other that’s tricky.

Photo:  mishel_sun

Photo: mishel_sun

pastel means more pigment + more gray (Summer eyes) – where’s the dividing line between icy and pastel? is there one?


Q: I read RTYNC and Bright Winter felt too zingy. I’m not electric and flashy.

Short A: You can’t see yourself. Compared to a range of other humans, your colouring feels more electric than a foggy day would. I was trying to make a comparison. Who do you know who looks foggy?

Long A: Ignore RTYNC (the blue book over in the right column). I can’t write the sequel because I created what the colour world needed least, 12 more stereotypes. Back then, I knew half what I know today. Maybe there’s another book taking shape that describes the real world better, the enormous variety, how people of the same Season can look incredibly different.

Why write about Seasons at all? Because it’s fun and interesting for us humans to look at one another and see all the possibilities. The stereotypes are like your horoscope. Kathryn Kalisz (founder of the Sci\ART system of PCA) also wrote about how people in the Seasons can look. I asked her once what Season someone was. She laughed and said in the most cheerful voice, “I have absolutely no idea! Until they’re in my chair.”

That book was only intended to help you see who you’re not, give a sense of how those colour energies made me feel so you could ask yourself the same thing, and give you 12 approximate palettes to make comparisons so you don’t have to own 12 swatch books. It got used too literally. The disclaimer at the front says that you will not be able to find yourself accurately, or at all. Should have been in big red print.


Photo: robertovm

Photo: robertovm



The Light Summer to Bright Winter Spectrum

This picture of Julianne Hough (said “huff”) came my way. It reminded me of a friend.

After thinking about it a bit, I realized that the face is like an exaggerated Reese Witherspoon.

Thing is, Julianne can do this. Is the dress wearing her? Is the makeup stronger than she is? By a lot or a little? If the hair were deeper, would she balance the other colours better? The balance is a little off but it’s hard to know what needs fixing and what doesn’t. Too many unpredictable variables. Just like draping a face. Reese were done like this, would the balance be off by less or by more?

Julianne looks to be in that girl-next-door Bright Winter to Light Summer spectrum. Except the eyes. Those eyes are crystal clear. Who knows what her natural hair colour is? From the gallery of images, I see that too yellow hair makes her face too yellow. Too light hair makes her face look puffed with flour. If you think of Bill Gates as average Light Summer colouring, those eyes would be wild in his face.

Reese seems to me a Light Summer. This makes sense. Winter is like an exaggerated Summer. The Warm Seasons are different. Autumn is not a continuation of Spring. It’s a whole different type of warmth. In a Season circle or progression, I would not Spring and Autumn side by side; I’d put them opposite one another.


Photo: J-Stuart

Photo: J-Stuart

the blue – too much pigment for icy; too pure pigment for pastel > probably not strong Winter or Summer ; we see this colour in Bright Spring eyes


Q: If Winter is an exaggerated Summer, why not have a Season in between? Like a continuation between Light Summer and Bright Winter, or True Summer and True Winter?

Short A: You’d get no new colours that weren’t already spoken for in one of the Seasons. I see the brilliance of the Sci\ART method of PCA, a genius that I am more in awe of with each client, as 12 stand alone groups. It makes their unique radiances strong and distinct. Smudging them into one another would dilute that and make analysis decisions much harder. Can a client blur them into each other? Absolutely.

Long A: Because real people don’t drape in between Summer and Winter to my eyes, though other analysts that I respect gigantically might not agree. A Soft Summer still looks better in Summer drapes, just a little weak. A Dark Winter still does better in Winter drapes overall if you know what to look for.

Also, making a cool Season overlap into a cool Season is in contradiction with the physics of light. That’s not how sunlight illuminates objects on our planet as interpreted by our eyes and brains.

Would the Bright Winter person look better True Winter’s drapes than True Summer’s drapes? Not always that easy. The light Bright Winter person’s face loves the lightness of Summer.

We can’t look at faces and know if they’re lighter than saturated, more cool than light, more saturated than warm, etc. Our eyes are not capable. We have to put a quantitative measuring system in between. Those are the drapes. Even then, in the early part of the analysis, all the features don’t behave the same way. That only happens at the end.

You will be wildly surprised at what your eyes will see happen with the drapes. The rug will get yanked out from under the feet of what you think Seasons have to look like. There are a lot of technical reasons for decision-making that Terry Wildfong and I train our students in carefully and thoroughly because we measure many markers at once in each face, with each new colour change.

The analyst evaluates many markers, related to line, colour, and texture, and makes a better-than choice. The markers will not be the same in every face. A Dark Winter man may wear Bright Winter saturation fairly well if his colouring is intense, but his face might look very oily. Another Dark Winter  man will lose eye energy in Bright Winter drapes but the complexion reflects light much the same between the two. We take a lot of time to learn every face because each reacts to colour in a unique and individual way.

And it can still be very difficult. At this point in my career, although I retain near dismay for how complex a PCA can be, I’m usually pretty confident in my Season decision. I saw a woman recently. We went between Bright and Dark Winter. Back and forth, back and forth. Test Drapes, Luxury Drapes, makeup, back and forth, back and forth. In the end, I decided on Bright for a selection of reasons. Not just one reason. Many reasons, which I itemized in the documents I sent her. All the analyst can say sometimes is, “This is how I saw you today. And this why.”

Was I correct? I hope so. Was she so difficult because she was extraordinarily beautiful, like trying to make a child look bad? Was it because she was of darker complexion? I’ve invited her back to model for a training course because I need fresh eyes, a different day, and some outside opinions. Some puzzles are more enigmatic.

Sometimes, facial features are very tough to prioritize. We see good and bad things in 2 Seasons in most every comparison until we’re at or near the end. This is normal and expected.

Photo: idigital

Photo: idigital

many a Dark Season eye


Students ask,

Q: Which observation is most important?

Short A: Depends. Every face is different.

Long A: There’s no such thing as most important. Your eyes are not more important than your mouth. A jaundiced face isn’t more important than an unfocused face. It’s the totality of a face. The answer would be different for every client. Even a well-trained or very experienced analyst can be perplexed.

If a client is much more comfortable in one Season, the best decision might be to have them wear it for a while. Throw out nothing. Buy a gloss and a few inexpensive T-shirts. Adjust the hair colour. In a few months, have another draping.





Different PCA Systems, Different Results

October 14, 2013 by · 290 Comments 

A  note before we start.

Personal Luxury Drapes

Buried in a lot of facts and numbers in the last article was a feature that I wanted to be sure everyone noticed.

Remember those Luxury Drapes that included your most beautiful colours, that you watched at the end of your 12 Tone  (12 Season, Sci\ART) Personal Colour Analysis (PCA)? You can now own your very own set.

The article with more information is linked here. Scroll down about 3/4 of the page, just after the picture of the blue and aqua waves.


Photo: briercrest

Photo: briercrest


How Can PCA Results Differ So?

Let’s talk about an issue that I’m e-mailed about over and over.

A woman has been analyzed by many systems. Could be North American or European. Could be recent or over 15 years. Could have been with a Sci\ART based analyst like me or not. In person and online.

Her colouring has been analyzed by eye, matching coloured cards and fabrics to form a colour booklet. She’s been draped in 20 minutes and in 2 hours, with fabrics pieces, large and small. One company matched her colouring to paint chips from which a computer generated a palette. Some considered skin alone, some hair and eye colour. All of this in 4 Seasons, 12, and 16.

Most of the time, drapes came out with one set of results, often fairly close (say, Light Spring, Light Summer, and Soft Summer), but not necessarily. Could be all over the map. Matching by eye and computer came out with quite different results (perhaps, Soft Autumn, Autumn/Spring blends, and a Bright Spring, or a mix of the 3), sometimes close, sometimes quite disparate.

She is confused enough that to sign up for one analysis after another and find less satisfaction and closure each time.

Before you read any further – though I haven’t studied the fundamental belief behind all these systems, it appears as if they agree that people look best when they wear the colours their bodies contain. If you disagree with that premise, you’re barking up a whole different image consultant tree that I can’t even advise about. The following applied to the folks who believe our body colours are our most flattering clothing/hair/cosmetic colours.


Photo: gul791

Photo: gul791


If You’re on The Draping Side

To follow me,

(which I say in that way NOT because I invented the system I use, I didn’t, Kathryn Kalisz did, probably modeled on previous systems in existence, but because I can’t guarantee that all Sci\ART-based analysts reading this would agree with me and I would not presume to speak for the group,)

you have to buy into some central beliefs about human colouring and its analysis.

First is that we have A hue, A value range, and A chroma setting. ONE of each H, V, and C. Every pigment governed by our personal genetic code respects these settings. They apply to every colour we contain, all the blues, greens, oranges, pinks, every one of the thousands of colours in us. They do not deviate very much from their setting. Each of the 12 HVC-based colour palettes holds to its particular settings and does not deviate very much either.

Second. I do not believe that human vision is well set up to understand colours just by looking. Certainly not static isolated colour. It’s just how we are. There’s no point arguing it, any more than disputing that we see cool, muted colour as distance and hear high notes as youth. Human eyes misjudge HVC in swatches let alone the complexity of a face.

What Lauren* said is so clever:

What you see when you look at me is not what makes me, Lauren.

Right on.

I believe that we are especially limited in our colour perception when it comes to the colours of our body. With David Zyla’s Color Your Style: How To Wear Your True Colors, I could not figure out my finger or vein colour. Wore myself out, as one of my favorite women said. Some might get it but I didn’t know jade from teal, and were the veins slightly purple?

I could get it when I laid my swatch book alongside the body part. Then, it lit right up. Was that wrong or right? No idea. Couldn’t do the finger pinch test even with the swatches. I did love his application of the colours, his individualized usage, and his artistic imagination. I loved that he disbelieves so many of the crazy myths about PCA. I agreed with so many of his words and ideas.

Maybe I have to use drapes because I’m so poor at judging human colouring or they’re just what I’m used to. I can look at someone in whatever their hair, clothes, and makeup is and I can’t find their true colours. All I can usually tell is that something’s off. I could then start adjusting them in my mind. Darken the hair, brighten the lip. Darken the hair, leave the lip, warm up the shirt. Leave the hair, cool the foundation, cool the shirt, and lighten the mascara. It could go on for days, with no answer at the end. Being impatient, I pull out the drapes. Grant me the serenity to know what I can change.

What we are extremely adapted to understand are change and comparison. In bold pink because that’s how important they are.

Cognitive scientist Dr. Mark Changizi wrote a book that is literally changing my life (I can’t thank Sarah enough for pointing me in this direction.) In The Vision Revolution: How The Latest Research Overturns Everything We Thought We Knew About Human  Vision, he hypothesizes that we barely register ourselves as having a colour, a taste, or a smell. This baseline setting is vital because we are particularly tuned in to the slightest change in the baseline. Fevered skin feels very hot, yet it’s only 1-2 degrees above baseline. How fascinating that all human skin of any ethnicity is very close in its reflectance of light in wavelength. Still, we’re far better at registering change in skin colour of our own ethnicity, our zero setting – though we can certainly learn and improve our ability to see colour change in skin of different baseline than our own.

It’s as if our entire nervous system is set to zero where other humans are concerned. That way, we can be especially sensitive to deviation. He speculates that this evolution allowed us to read one another’s condition better by the slightest change in skin colour and that we’re highly sensitive to it. This adaptation in our colour vision allows us better survival as a tribal, social, cultural collective. In specific situations, for instance, survival of the young or assessing the strength of an opponent, extreme sensitivity in reading very slight change in skin colour was a successful evolutionary event.

And then, OMG, it gets better, and I’m only 40 pages into it. At veterinary school 23 years ago, in Principle of Surgery class, we were given an exam question : Explain at the cellular level the physiologic conditions which cause tissues to become white, yellow, green, blue, red, and purple. Dr. Changizi answers the question in terms of the quantity of blood under the skin and its oxygen concentration superimposed ON TOP OF A COLOUR WHEEL!!!! Could barely believe what I was seeing. Got all goose-bumpy. Heart extra-pumpy.

In the course manual for students training to become PCAs, I wrote more than I needed to (what else is new?) about the wavelength sensitivities of the cells in human retinas. It’s so fundamental though. I couldn’t leave it out. It explains the comparison basis of human vision. Why red, green, blue, and yellow have their positions around a colour wheel. Why they’re opposites in the first place. OK, listen to this: turns out that our retinal cells are stimulated by the very wavelength patterns that correspond exactly with how light is absorbed by hemoglobin under skin. Meaning our colour vision evolved exactly to see changes in blood under skin! Meaning that by knowing the stimulation patterns of retinal cells, you could determine the blood oxygen concentration of the person you’re looking at!!!!!!! On page 43, Dr. Changizi says, “That synergy turns out to be crucial to our empathic ability.” You just have to read this amazing book. The windows it will open…

I’m pretty sure the answer to undertone is in here. Bernice Kentner, a personal hero of mine, related it to blood velocity, which sounded a little iffy in the absence of numerical data, but that was 30 – 40 years ago. Maybe this is what she was getting at. Others have related undertone to differences in blood colour or hemoglobin – again, IDK. Could be I just haven’t seen the data. It’s possible.  We all have different melanin.

But is it probable? Melanin has a different purpose. It doesn’t carry oxygen. We wouldn’t die if our melanin changed a little. We might die if our hemoglobin changed a little. Is Nature likely to allow all primates, and then all races within a group of primates, to have different hemoglobins? It seems as if blood colour would be more rigidly controlled than melanin, with fewer mutations tolerated, because of the life and death implications. Still, I’m open to anything. I think Changizi is on the right path. As often happens, science catches up with art.

Anyhow, sorry, undertone is still one of my BIG QUESTIONS in PCA, back on topic,

change is what we’re excellent at seeing.

And comparison.  Think about this: As the zero setting ourselves, we serve as the Control group!!!! We compare our hand, which we register as zero, to the hot fevered face, only 1 degree warmer and we say, “You’re so hot! Into bed!”  My heart beats faster just writing it. The miracle that is Nature.

The book is awesome. Not medical or doctor-y or science talk at all. Written like a story with huge mind-blowing ideas on every page. I owe you, Sarah.

Third, I do not believe that colour is well set up to be understood in the first place because of how much it’s influenced by whatever’s around it, which is why my drapes are a solid colour and a lot of it. Colours change one another. When energy fields come into contact, they change one another.

Even at a distance, they change one another. While a drape is swinging around the client’s head, before it has settled on their chest, the face is already being profoundly altered. A reminder that students have heard and heard and heard: DROP-THE-DRAPE. Drop it right out of eyesight when assessing a face. If your eyes can see it, your perception is altered by it. I might tattoo the words on the palm of my hand or have a really nifty sign made up.


Photo: Joanie49

Photo: Joanie49


Not All Drapings Are Equal

A person who’s been draped many times will have noticed big variation in drape sizes, colours, numbers, method of interpretation, order of use, colours within any Season or group, and particular name of the Seasons or groups.

Can draping be flawed? God, yes. Everything can.

Wouldn’t it be great if the all the above steps were standardized? God, yes. Or even within one company!

So we’re taking a hard look at it. We’re making drapes in controlled and consistent colours, set after set. We’re talking about alumnus refresher courses from Terry. Finding standardized ways of draping and teaching.

Inside our group, we’re dragging everything out under those brutal full spectrum lamps and taking a hard look at it. Truth matters to me. I don’t care how uncomfortable it is. The hardest part of fixing most problems is knowing what they are in the first place. Giving honest feedback is tough, something I recognize sincerely and feel a lot of gratitude when I receive it.

We’re getting over our fears about change, our embarrassment at having conflicting results, the projects we worked so hard on, what clients will think, and pulling it all apart. In my over-transparency, I’ll put my problems on the internet and let everyone weigh in. There are great ideas everywhere, very often outside the industry.

And everything is getting better.

Photo: neluskita

Photo: neluskita


The consumer’s role

I would like to see the clients take some responsibility here.

When they’re ill, they decide between consulting a naturopath and an M.D. Nobody expects the two to be especially similar. Disagreeing results are actually expected. We’d be surprised if they agreed. We allow them to be apples and oranges. Neither is foolproof. Does it mean that they do not improve our lives? Of course not.  When it’s good, it can be transforming.

In choosing one, the client must decide what they believe. About having your colouring analyzed,

Do you believe that neutral gray surrounding matters to accurate colour measurement or do you not? Would you say that it is crucial? A deal-breaker?

That full spectrum lighting is the only way to render every wavelength (colour) evenly?

Do you believe that humans can have trouble judging colour by eye?

That computers and photographic equipment alter colours at each step of software translation?

(If you answered No, Maybe, or Sometimes to any of the above, seek analysis services from someone other than me. Before you see them, accept that the outcome will differ wildly from what I might say and that you’re going to be OK with that because you understand that eyes will think they see 5  colours if they see 1 colour in 5 different contexts.)


Ask the analyst if you’re not sure. Whether they call the groups Seasons or something else is the least of your problems. That barely matters. Before she signs up for one more PCA, the consumer needs to ask,

- what is the source of the colours you’re giving me?

- how do the groups of colours, whatever you call them, get eliminated or selected?

- what’s the basis for the groups? why are those colours part of that group?


You’re going to have to decide. I’m not here to put down anyone else. I explain the core beliefs of my practice. If other systems could do the same, I’ll link to it. I’ll post it on this site. We all have something to add.

I simply suggest that various methods can’t be dovetailed together. There is no point in wondering why they can’t find common ground. You might as well stop trying. We diverged way back at the beginning. You’re comparing the Big Bang Theory to Let There Be Light. It’s a square peg/round hole relationship. It ain’t gonna happen.

Maybe you’ll say, “Well, how ‘m I supposed to know? I’m the consumer. It’s all you analysts out there who have studied colour theory. Why can’t you guys figure it out and tell us, once and for all?”

Great answer. True answer.

The public has not the context, the theory, or the experience to make these decisions, though they love to hash it out online. Unless you’ve watched many drapings and followed the practitioners of the by-eye technique (which I have not), you don’t really get either one, let alone where they might come together. Sometimes different words are being used to describe the same thing, and even that is rightly confusing to the public.

Maybe an analyst who has studied all the systems could find an accurate way to merge them? After all, the systems are all looking for the original body colours. Should be simple.

I’d love to see what someone comes up with. It’s easy to learn all the theory there ever was and find every reason why no system has 100% final say. Sooner or later, to be a colour analyst, you’ll have to pick one for its strengths, learn how to compensate for its flaws, and crawl around down here with us sinners and losers who do our best to analyze human colouring every day.

A certain client, with a broad-minded approach to life, might see both naturopath and MD. She might look for what works for her in the advice of each. She might see them as an extension and expansion of the other, adding more layers of approach and interpretation that are fascinating in themselves. She would look for the strengths in each approach. The advice that didn’t jive, she just sets aside for now with a reminder in her calendar to take another look in 3 months.

Photo: hairuo

Photo: hairuo


Why draping?

Because it is based on what we’re good at seeing: change and comparison in a calibrated measuring system with no other colours present.

Draping takes a human weakness (our ability to see the colours of skin) and turns it into a strength (our ability to register the slightest changes in reactivity of skin when given comparison) by utilizing an ability that human colour vision is massively adapted to see and see well (skin colour alteration from baseline).

The purpose of draping is not to be a wrinkle eraser. It is do determine your baseline. The truth of you. 

If you’ve never watched a calibrated draping or still believe there can be no blonde or red-headed Winters, I can’t give your opinion much weight. There’s so much more to it than people realize when it’s done correctly. Ask students who have taken the training. I think many were more than a little surprised. And these were mostly people who had studied all the books and websites.

None of the big names in PCA ever warned against draping, that I recall. Bernice maintained that draping always had the final say.

Online groups talk about hair and eye colour. Why? Because it’s what they see most prominently. As humans, they’re not programmed to see the skin colours of other humans (nevermind that cameras don’t sample colours the way human eyes do and therefore arrive at different results). If asked why all the talk about hair and eyes, they’d say, “Because skin doesn’t really have much colour. It’s hard to talk about it.” YEAH!!! That’s the whole point. It doesn’t. But when it changes, even slightly, we have seen it over thousands of years of evolution linked to our very survival. Cameras can’t do it but human vision is all over it.

Why draping? Because it’s the best way of compensating for the tricks our brain plays all day long as it adjusts what our eyes take in. You don’t believe that all we see are adaptations of reality? That what we see is highly inaccurate? Google ‘optical illusions’. Vision isn’t designed for accuracy. As Dr. Changizi points out, evolution doesn’t care about accuracy. Evolution cares about spreading genes around.

Photo: big_foot

Photo: big_foot


Hair&Eye Colour

Hair and eye colour are relevant to PCA and human colouring determination, but not in the way folks think.

Hair is a body colour and contributes to overall harmony, no doubt. But hair is only melanin, a limited representation of our colouring that doesn’t change a whole lot with clothes. It’s made of many colours. Some analysts may be excellent at finding its true colours, but the public seldom is – either because they’ve altered it with their clothing (a Dark Winter wearing Soft colours) or don’t see it as others do (a Bright who thinks she has mousy hair because it’s medium beige brown). We’re not really good at seeing hair changes. Could be why hair is limited to so few body parts in humans.

Eyes? The lines can be informative, but they’re not tight data. Colour is somewhat useful, more its distribution patterns than the colour itself. Nobody ever talks about colour clarity. Why not? If we forgot about eye colour per se and approached it as HVC, we might get closer to the truth. Sorry, digression, anyhow, eyes are complex, multicoloured, multilayered entities full of mirrors and windows. Too much physics, optics, and reflection going on. Huge and gigantic importance if you know what to look for and are given comparisons.

Photo: cempey

Photo: cempey


A moderate approach

I have the deepest respect all the prophets and visionaries that laid the foundations for modern PCA. So often, a prophet’s words and how they got used differ widely. No seer who came back today would tolerate the labels that got put on him or her since their voice went quiet. Rules get hammered into place that the original thinker never intended so rigidly.  The focus gets turned around, the dogma is over-defended and over-adhered to, while the creator would have a much more welcoming and tolerant viewpoint.

Decide to just enjoy the process. Consider that there is no person, system, colour collection, medicine, or anything else, that can utterly and finally explain us to ourselves. Enjoy the style, the artistry, the creative excellence of every approach, and the endlessly fascinating opportunity to see ourselves through the eyes of another.


An Incorrect Colour Analysis Result

August 17, 2013 by · 45 Comments 

Now that students are being trained, some are finding that their earlier PCAs were not correct.

I analyzed a woman, *Ruth*,  2-3 years ago as a Soft Summer. As a part of her training recently (with the excellent Terry Wildfong), she found that she is in fact a Dark Winter.

I have had students myself and found them to be a different Season than previously thought.

It’s awkward for everyone. What is the right path?

Photo: starryboo2

Photo: starryboo2


Moving through, not away from

My question today is:

As a community of analysts and clients, how will be handle this? It’s going to keep happening for a little while.

Achieving consistency between our analysts is our biggest challenge. (Whether the public finds complete consistency between the palette and their own colouring is another matter, one I worry about less.) Yet, never for an instant would I consider another method.

Can we allow our stumbles to happen openly and comfortably so we can all learn?

At first, of course, the ego takes a little beating. Not a big thing. It’s healthy, not just for me but for everyone who emails me and thinks I’m somehow special or gifted when all I do is write more than everyone else. I’m just more visible. Like models and other meteorites, the idea that anyone is near-perfect sets up a standard that is untrue and destructive for those who think they should live up to it.

If we’re afraid of being wrong, we’re lost. In school and society, we’re taught that we should avoid mistakes but I completely disagree. They’re how we learn. That discomfort feeling is called Experience. There’s no other way to get it. We all have been and will be wrong and should move towards that heat, and then through it. Running away keeps us stuck with our feet like tree roots. I love trees almost as much as oceans but they can’t walk on this Earth. Humans can.

I tell my own students that the best thing that can happen to them as colour analysts is to have been wrong about their Season a few times. Identifying with our clients is how we support them fully. Once we’ve shopped with our Colour Books, we feel what she’s up against.

Photo: arkitekt

Photo: arkitekt


The analyst’s growth

. First, I get separation from my business. If every mistake feels so personal, I can’t manage it and grow from it. I just get caught up in feeling bruised and sorry for myself. Humiliation is fine and useful, because it’s the light side on the road to humility, a very blessed way to live.

. Get clarity on what I care about. Not my image. Really don’t care about that. I very sincerely care about the Kathryn Kalisz-founded system of Personal Colour Analysis as a fantastic and unparalleled resource for empowering consumers. I care deeply about making your business wildly successful, whatever your definition of successful is, and seeing you having trouble holding in the joy you feel from putting yourself on this path of Personal Colour Analyst, even if you will be wrong sometimes. A wrong analysis hasn’t compromised what I care about. Easy to calm down.

. Search for curiosity. What can I learn? Why might this have happened that could give the client and I even more insight into her colouring? The first analyst didn’t just pluck a Season out of the air like a random mosquito swimming by. Terry said,

I don’t wish to see an analyst being referred to as getting an analysis wrong. I see it as analysts can come to different results, plain and simple, by interpreting differently, which leads them down a different path. I analyzed my husband as a True Spring, and he is a Bright Winter. I came to the first result for several reasons, which I have now corrected in my perception. Was I totally wrong? No, he is blended with Spring. Was there a better result? Yes.


Photo: duchessa

Photo: duchessa


The client’s growth

. I ask myself, “What is their work and what is mine in this situation?” Before getting all reactive, we both have to think, “What can I do to make this situation work better for you?” We can have a talk. We can re-drape you. Do I give refunds? I’ve never been asked, my clients are so elegant. Would I? I guess I’d do what would calm the person and let them feel validated. I’m not in this for the money and I never make decisions based on money. This absolutely does not set a precedent for other analysts but if someone wanted their cash back, I guess I’d return it, knowing that the communication between us would end right there. The whole “I spend $200, I deserve…” “For $2000, the least I expect…”, we hear it all the time. It’s a 2-dimensional view of the world that wants $$ more than knowledge so we don’t belong together. As a client, I wouldn’t ask for a refund. Lord knows we’ve gotten some sketchy makeup applications and massages we didn’t love and didn’t ask for refunds. Everyone is doing their best. Nobody set out to cheat anyone. Maybe the client should have got better informed beforehand.

. Find gratitude. Ruth brings a very beautiful intelligence to our profession. Her first reaction was to look for something to be grateful for. That’s an impressive being who understands that there’s a bigger plan in motion towards a greater place, and who is able to quietly place her trust in it. I’m often amazed at the assembly of remarkable personalities contained within our group. Ruth belongs among us and is most welcome.


Photo: Dr_ernst

Photo: Dr_ernst


The Biology of Sight

This again. It defines how we see so there’s no getting away from it. Terry reminded us,

I believe there are two major reasons why analysts can have conflicting results. Both reasons are found in The New Munsell Student Color Set under the heading of Observer Metamerism:

1.      No two people see color exactly the same. This is something that can never be altered. There will never be a set of drapes or even training that can ensure the same visual perception will be had by two different analysts.

2.      Our visual perception of a color changes, based on what color was last viewed. Just making up this example: If you are comparing Blue #1 for TW and Blue #5 for TSu, the reactions you see in the mirror are made on that comparison. If I have Blue #1 for TW and Blue #3 for TSu (all technically correct), the reactions I see will be based on that comparison. If Sharon has Blue #2 for TW and Blue #4 for TSu, again technically correct, she could come to a different result.

The closest way two analysts can hopefully come to the same conclusion is to have every test drape exactly the same, which Christine and I have talked about. But even if every drape we make for every set is the same, problem #1 above still exists.


Photo:  matchstick

Photo: matchstick


The Drapes

Everything can always change for the better. The Sci\ART system is, in my view, unequaled in its approach, its working instruments (the drapes), and in its accuracy at demonstrating your natural, inborn colours. I know the strengths of the draping system and they are beyond substantial.

The drapes I have from 4 years ago are not without a few drawbacks that I’ve learned over time and today, can factor into an analysis. The True Autumn yellow is extremely saturated, for instance. A Bright Spring could wear it. Was there a reason it was placed in that Season? The person who can answer isn’t here to ask.

Soft Summer and Dark Winter’s red drape is exactly the same piece of fabric. And there are only 3 drapes to test the 12 Tones, and they are not the same colours. I didn’t know it back then. Nonetheless, I should have picked up from the beginning, back in the 4 Seasons, that on Ruth, True Winter was better than True Summer.

Other analysts have other issues. Some are not confident in finding a Light Summer. Some always question some other Season.

It’s this knowledge that went into the drapes that Terry and I offer our students.  And they will improve. We continue to gather positive and negative data and re-assess. We’re working on standardizing colours even more rigorously and giving you increasingly accurate comparisons. If you bought them, you know that I’ll keep working with you and continue sending additions/replacements until I can’t improve them any more. Which I hope will never happen.

Photo: stevekrh19


Changing Colouring with Time

Most of us have settled into our Season by age 17.

My True Winter daughter was settled by age 4, maybe sooner (I didn’t formally test her but the eyes were fully black).

Terry’s daughter changed from Soft Summer to Dark Winter in her 20s !!, with a pregnancy in those years.

We darken several times in life, in our teens and our 30s.

We change in our 50s…do our colours really muted or do we just look different, less water, thicker outer layer of keratin…

I don’t believe that most people change Seasons, they just become a new painting from the same paint box. But clearly, some people do move to a new group of natural colouring parameters at various lifestages. Colouring is unpredictable.

Photo: txpotato


Continuing Education

The potential of a system can’t be maximized until we acknowledge its weak spots. Until truth is brought into light, it can’t be examined and raised higher. We gotta talk about this stuff with an intent to learn the why and how.

We don’t want to still be giving women different Seasons 5 years from now. Every analyst does it and if I admit freely that I did, maybe others will speak more comfortably about why they feel it happened in their case.  Then we can get to work as a collaborative, non-judgmental team to fix the causes and leave them behind us.

We can’t be in denial and defense. If we go around like The Human Landmine: An Undetonated Incendiary Device when the imperfections of our process or tools are brought up, everyone will clam up. In 5 years, we’ll be right where we are today. Still strong, still smart, still fragmented.

We need ways to refresh our training with one another. Not re-accreditation for practicing analysts, but organized meetings where we can learn from the fact that every one of us does things differently.

We all have different drape acrobatics. Some analysts move to the Luxury Drapes very early in the process. Some analysts begin with the Red Drapes, before the 4 Test (True Seasons) and 12 Test (12 Tones) drapes. Both certainly correct from my POV. I can’t think of any logistic problem. So why do I begin with 4T? Because my eyes just aren’t ready to interpret the Reds that soon with a new face.  I wasn’t trained that way. It’s not what I’m used to.

Somehow, these meetings needs to happen. They will help us technically and remind us to be generous with all practicing colour analysts, Sci\ART based and otherwise.


Photo: Eastop


What will potential clients think?

Ruth asked,

I felt I was able to explain this to my sister because she knows something about PCA; she understands that Dark Winter and Soft Summer can have similar qualities. (It’s not as if I had been draped a True Spring!) … My biggest concern is sharing this with the people in my life who know very little about PCA — people I’ve had to convince that there’s something to this — friends, acquaintances, people at church, business contacts. I’m telling you, I have been an evangelist about this and I have a lot of women (and a number of men) very excited to have a PCA. I am trying to think of a concise way to explain this to them — a way that won’t undermine the validity of Sci\ART PCA or require me to pull out a color clock at dinner.


My thoughts,

Communicate the enthusiasm, learning, upgrading, and increasing sense of fulfillment and freedom. If someone chooses to think, “If they can’t get this right the first time then there can’t be anything to it.”, it demonstrates a closed mentality about everything in their life and you might not need them to visit you. What most people want is integrity, honesty, your very best effort, and to be seen and heard.

Whenever we’re learning about ourselves, our physical selves, our spiritual selves, we move forward in steps. If one doctor helps you lot and opens your eyes to a new treatment method but you don’t find full recognition on the first visit, do you never see them again and close themselves to that modality, or try again and see if there’s a way to build higher? For me, it would be decided by my faith in the method and in the person.

If you position yourself to your community as having renewed faith in the method, even despite a correction, it sends a message that the method must be really strong in your eyes or you’d have abandoned it.

I would trust the person with perspective much more than the one proclaiming only success. No medical test is foolproof, not even those that come back Positive or Negative as opposed to the Ranges and Trends types. A doctor who doesn’t know the limitations of a test is useless at interpreting its findings. The No Fail Guarantee is an uneducated assumption that folks sophisticated in a subject released awhile back.

I know the problems and I’d never consider any other process of Personal Colour Analysis. My belief system gets stronger because I have run into problems, given attention and effort to their repair, and acquired a more deeply layered frame of reference, always with room to improve.

Live the conviction that in error, we become stronger, just as surely that in giving, we receive. Both paradoxes, both true.



The Value of the Luxury Drapes

July 14, 2013 by · 6 Comments 

They’re almost ready. Finding a wide variety of stunning colours for the  three Winters that are not all Prom Satin and Wedding Whites in May and June is not so straightforward. I anticipate the end of August when they become available to purchase.

I want to talk today about the purpose of these Luxury Drapes, how they serve your client and your business as a 12-Tone or 12-Season personal colour analyst. They build value for your client, plain and simple, where most of the decision-making should be based. Your service can offer more, the client receives more, your credibility climbs, and your business name earns its reputation for fantastic payoff for the fee.

Before we get on to their purpose, we could talk about what they are.

Before that, we should clarify what the Test Drapes are and their purpose.

 The Test Drapes

The Test Drapes are fabrics in colours that are organized into groups. You can call the groups Seasons or Tones or Natural Colouring Type. Each group shares the same or similar dimensions of colour (light-dark range (value), heat setting (hue), degree of pigment concentration (chroma or saturation)). The groups walk us through 12 combinations and controlled levels of the colour properties,  moving along through a logic tree, comparing a human being’s colouring to themselves, until the best harmony is found. The tag on those Best Harmony Drapes is the client’s group or Season.

Test Drapes


The Test Drapes (those I provide to my students and Terry Wildfong’s) are not intended to be a client’s best colours. There are no catch-your-breath WOW OMG colours in the Test Drapes. If there are some, it wasn’t planned, but OMG does happen because synchronous wavelength feels good to be around. We live on a planet of wave energy. We emit it ourselves. Seeing it feels almost like remembering or reconnecting. It’s a form of recognition, as “Oh, so this is how this is going to happen.”, like when a door opens and something you’ve been trying to figure out is suddenly easy and obvious.

People write to me saying they’d love to be trained as colour analysts because they’ve loved colour so much for so long, but they doubt their ability to see the optical effects I write about. Seeing it takes a little practice to learn what you’re looking for, that’s true. Seeing it isn’t the hard part at all. Everyone sees it. That’s the point. That’s why it’s so important to have it done and know your own colouring. The family members watching see it plain as day right from the start.

More requiring is coordinating how to think with what you see. Learning to plug the data that your right brain (images, impressions, emotions, associations, big picture observations) and left brain (measurements) are collecting as you watch the drapes change on the client

into an impartial deductive process that doesn’t overreach, get overly excited too soon, jump to nervous conclusions, or let in thoughts that begin with “It can’t be…” – I will let newly  trained analysts speak for themselves but I would guess this is the harder part.


Photo: fangol

Photo: fangol


The Test Drapes are a ruler. A measuring tape. Instead of measuring bust, waist, hips, they’re quantifying hue, value, chroma. It’s hard to do by looking. Our visual system starts overlapping incoming signals. Warm colours often look more saturated than they are, like True Autumn. We can’t look at a blonde-haired blue-eyed person and see that their most significant colour dimension is highest saturation and know that they’re Bright Winter. If we just look, my belief, we literally can not know, as in not capable of knowing, because our eyes are not biologically set up that way. We have to measure.

Client can feel a little discouraged when they watch the Test Drapes, “You mean to tell me that these are the colours I have to wear????”

It’s natural and normal for the client to see the Test Drapes as potential clothing. They could be, but that’s not the point of them or how they were picked. It’s not the client’s job to understand their purpose. It’s the analyst’s job. We can reassure her that she doesn’t have to wear these colours and yet, with every drape change, she’ll say, “I would never wear this colour!”  The analyst has to keep saying, “You don’t have to. You’re not supposed to. They’re measuring you.” and be just as patient and happy about it as Beyonce when she climbs onto a stage to sing that same song for the 399th time.

The client’s response has some value, but not a lot. Half the people out there are drawn to colours that suit them and half are not. The analyst has to make independent decisions. Asking the client, “Is there a colour you’d never wear?” tells me more about how permissive  she is about colours, how defensive, how open to change, or how adamant about not changing. It does not inform me as the analyst about what colours live in her body. Most folks carry too much convoluted colour history to know which colours do or don’t suit them, much less live in them, and they tend to lump them together. “I can’t wear green.” applies to nobody. Many Light Summers won’t wear yellow – yet, they’re made for the right yellow. It’s in them already.

If  Terry and I picked middle-of-the-Season colours for the Test Drapes, you’ll need to be some Hot, Sharp, and Well-Rested colour analyst to make the right choice. New graduates won’t thank me. I wouldn’t thank me. If I met me at a party, I would give me the cold shoulder for making my job so much harder.  The colours have to be extremes. They should be a very awkward fit for every colouring but one.

The Test Drapes are chosen to be colours no other type of natural colouring, or Season, could wear as well or at all.

Now if it’s splendid colours you’re wanting, I have an answer for you.


 The Luxury Drapes

The Luxury drapes are shown to the client once the Season is known and the Test Drapes are hung up. I show them before makeup with the gray scarf still over the hair, since that’s how our eyes learned her colouring, and again after makeup. She sees a selection of her beautiful colours in textile. It helps her make the leap from the swatch book to fabric. This is how she will understand her position within the 3 dimensions of colour in the physical world, how the idea will move from theoretical concepts inside her head to an idea come to life on the stage of her life.

A colour analysis is a huge experience squeezed into 3 hours. The client is taken way back to the most authentic trueness of herself. All the junk and inventions that have piled up over the years get flipped away. The Luxury Drapes are the first step in building her back up again, letting in only what’s real and right about her so she can recognize it forever more.

Sci\ART, the company whose founder, Kathryn Kalisz, developed this most remarkable system,  used to sell sets of 8 and 15. I only have the 15s. IDK if the 8s were the same  fabrics or not. I am aiming for 12. They’ll only be sold as 12 sets of 12. I would love to find enough colours to offer 15, but it may be a case of, “You can have them right or you can have them now, but you can’t have them right now.” If I hold out for 15, it will be next year before I can offer them. If sets gets larger in the future, we’ll figure it out with those who bought early. Offering smaller start-up sets isn’t likely to happen. I’d have to keep track of which colours everyone bought in Round 1. I might have all different fabrics once you’re ready to buy Round 2. Or worse, some fabrics may be too close to what you bought in Round 1. Save up. Do it once. Do it right. Don’t look back.

As with the Test Drapes, the Lux Drapes will be available only within the Sci\ART community, with priority given to those who have taken the training course from Terry or me.


Luxury Drapes 1


Use the Luxury drapes as a means of developing her understanding of how to wear her colours. We can talk about saturation levels till the cows are home, milked, and fed. When she positions her limits is when she sees and feels them, not when she thinks and hears them. Colour is visual.

Seeing her colours as selected by an analyst helps her understand them. They can be compared to neighbour Seasons. Don’t show her Bright Winter periwinkle without showing Bright Spring’s alongside it, even just in the swatch books. Without visual comparison, our brain is stranded.

The Lux Drapes are her gateway to a world of possibility limited only by her creativity. She steps into a pleasure of harmony between her and everything she wears that she has not felt before. When the client leaves your office, it will be from your script as she met the Lux Drapes that she should be able to say a few words to a friend about these aspects of the new wardrobe that she will build and shape in time,

. her darkness range – is she white to black, chalk to pewter, or some other?

. her lightest colours as distance from white

. importance of contrast for her colouring and how to adapt it in attire

. purity of pigment, or saturation, and how to recognize it

. the unique radiance or glow that her Tone can achieve more beautifully and believably than any other

. use of correct hair and eye colour, explaining why hair colour is not always in our palettes or drapes

. her right and real hair highlight

. eyeshadows and neutral colours

. use of texture and how it influences the dimensions of her colours

. most flattering type of shine in fabric and metal

. colours of metals that flatter her most

. her best version of white and black

. what it means to say warm and cool versions of her colours if she’s a Neutral Season

. her best red lipstick red

. the complementary colours to skin undertone colour

. the unusual, unexpected colours

. how she will add interest, risk, fun, authority, or imagination to outfits… and look smarter, more trustworthy, and worth more $$

. how to begin incorporating the colours she finds more challenging

. colour schemes and combinations that work with her and for her

. a visual for colours that are not used to test, such as purple

. the fact that she has many colours that are not among her swatches, and how to achieve harmonic agreement in shopping situations

. that we really mean it when we say every colour goes with every other colour and she doesn’t need to own different makeup for different outfits anymore

. what to never put down money for again

. feelings of nervousness about exploring a new world she didn’t know existed, of colours that felt challenging, of some work ahead to make this place into a new home, and feeling that she has the tools she needs, will get better with time, and seeing the road ahead going forward and up

. how empowered she feels in this  moment by all the knowledge you gave her, by knowing the colours of her parachute

Analysts would probably agree that many clients ‘get it’ for the first time when they see the Lux Drapes, or get how they’re going to do it.


Luxury Drapes 2


The Luxury Drapes can assist in confirming Season. Some people’s colouring sits on the 49/51 border between two Seasons.  Look for the magic. It will only be in one Season. Compare similar colours from each possible Season that the other would not wear as well, a blue to a blue or a red to a red, choosing the extreme versions. Every single Luxury colour has been harmonized to that Tone using the original Sci\ART palettes and the excellent palettes from True Colour Australia. For the client who hasn’t been convinced with the Test Drapes, the Luxury Drapes provide another means of increasing their confidence in their Season.

You can arrive at the correct Tone using the Test Drapes, of which you have 3 more per 12-Test Season than my original Sci\ART sets. You can be in business for a year or two before buying Luxury Drapes, or you may never acquire them. They are the next level investment.

Luxury Drapes are not the place to cheap out. I didn’t skimp on fabric. If it was evocative to me of that Season’s unique and unparalleled beauty, I bought it. This is the analyst’s chance to shine, to be irreplaceable, indispensable, to tell her things nobody ever has, based on all the scientific testing you just completed. This is where you pull it together for your client. They’re your client’s first chance to see and feel how her colour home will recognize, welcome, accept, and support her. As partners, join her in the first leap from the theory of the Test Drapes and Colour Book swatches to the reality of how they translate into clothing, cosmetics, hair colour…every thing she will buy from now on.

As the analyst, they are your best chance to change her relationship with an idea using something she understands. She doesn’t understand the hue/value/chroma package well enough to really use it in stores. That’s analyst jargon. Of course, it’s important to present it as the scientific basis for the process, but she won’t retain much from a crash course in colour theory, let alone call on it to guide her hair colourist. We need to speak to her in her language, not ours. Understanding how the pancreas secretes insulin is not going to help her manage her diabetes. That’s the doctor’s job. Knowing how to choose her diet and adjust her insulin dose, those she can implement tomorrow to make her life better. Seeing how her colours translate into fabric is what she’ll apply in stores at least as well as her chroma level.

The Lux Drapes are the wave up to which the whole colour analysis experience is building. Let them wash over her. Go slow. Let her soak them up. Use them as the fantastic teaching tool they are. Use them to position your business as a part of her life she can no longer shop without.



Introducing Sci\ART Colour Analyst and Trainer Terry Wildfong

May 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Today, it is my sincere pleasure to introduce you to Terry Wildfong. Four years ago, my family drove to Grand Rapids, Michigan, at Easter time, for me to be trained by Terry as a colour analyst. All five of us trooped into her home to be colour analyzed as part of my training. Though Terry doesn’t recall this, I remember her walking down the line looking at everyone’s colouring and quietly pronouncing, “We might have a couple of True Seasons here.”  We had three.

With events in each of our lives, we disconnected for a few years. Last August, I bought a grey backdrop from her, which rekindled the conversation. We see each other often now as we select the colours of the drapes for our students. All of us can look back on our lives and mark certain great blessings that crossed our path. Terry is certainly among mine, and today, the dearest of friends. She is one of the kindest, most giving people that I have the privilege of having in my life. Terry also has the most intelligent, accurate, and discerning colour eye that I know.

Terry sees clients for colour analysis and trains students as colour analysts in the Sci\ART system. You can learn more about her services and contact her through her beautiful website at Your Natural Design.


Terry Wildfong


I have always been interested in color. Looking back, I now see the progression of events that brought me to where I am today.

In 1983, I had my colors done by Color Me Beautiful and became very curious about the differences in seasons. Also, my love for working with makeup, lead me to join Mary Kay Cosmetics as a beauty consultant in 1993. During the next two years, I gained confidence in myself and honed my cosmetic application skills. I was then ready for the next obvious step and studied with Color Me a Season and became an analyst. Color analysis and cosmetics went hand-in-hand. I had the best of both worlds. I’d found my calling so to speak. Having the color knowledge, I started teaching my sister Mary Kay consultants about color, the differences in foundation colors, and how to achieve a natural look with the glamour products, and many other workshops.

In 2004, I found Kathryn Kalisz’s  website at Sci\ART. After reading her book, “Understanding Your Color,” I realized that this was the piece that had been missing in the traditional four-seasonal color analysis approach. I was excited about learning something new. So I attended Sci\ART’s workshops, and worked with Kathryn during those visits. While there, she mentioned that she was overwhelmed with creating product and that she needed help teaching. I jumped at the chance and studied with her in 2006 and became her first certified instructor.

I had many happy years doing PCA appointments and teaching. Again, I had the best of both worlds. After Kathryn’s untimely death in 2010, I retired from the color business a year later. But it has left a large void in my life. I enjoyed meeting with clients and helping them understand and learn how to use their colors and teaching students the art of color analysis.

Recently, in working with my former student, Christine, I have a renewed excitement of the business. I now realize that I need to be a part of continuing Kathryn’s work and am meeting new clients and teaching new students.

Colorfully yours,

Terry Wildfong



Can Eye, Hair, and Skin Colours Conflict?

November 7, 2012 by · 33 Comments 

Answer: No. Never. They can appear to conflict until your colours are correctly analyzed.

I get 3 or 4 emails each month about this. So let’s talk about it, framed around pieces of conversations with real women. It’s the practical application of my digression in the earlier post, How To Match Foundation.

Palette and swatch in this post always refer to colours found within your particular group of colours in the 12 Tone system of colour analysis developed by Kathryn Kalisz. Some of the Tones or Seasons may have similar or identical names with other companies but if their origin isn’t Sci\ART, their colour collections are different. I don’t know how other organizations developed their palettes, what their colours are, or what the desired outcome of their PCA process is. It’s not my place to answer questions about them.

The eye photos in this post are just lovely pictures. They are not textbook examples of the words or the ideas.


Photo: L-O-L-A


If hair/eye colours are not in the palette

I am a Bright Spring with dark brown eyes, dark brown hair, and light skin.

Yes, Spring under Winter influence is often brown eyed, from a glowy topaz jewel yellow to black brown. Many persons of Asian and Celtic origin have this colouring of darkness in hair and eyes and lightness and brightness in skin.

Since this is predominantly Spring, not Winter, the person is sometimes not conspicuously contrasting, though they certainly can be. A brown eye with light skin or hair is fairly contrasting in itself. Sometimes, the Bright Spring eye is so light brown that it’s yellow, like a wolf. It’s quite a thing to see. Or to be, I would think.

It’s this,


Photo: beverlytaz


not this, but notice the coat colours and the eye-coat harmony, animals are just like us,


Photo: danjaeger



The color of my veins, lips, and cheeks are all in my color swatches and flatter me.  However, the brown in my eyes and my hair is not in my color swatches and does not flatter me when I wear clothes of that color.  How can I wear brown as an eye and hair color but not anywhere else without looking washed out?

You’re wearing the colour you think you see, which is never what colour is. Here is one reason for why it’s harder to figure for some Tones.

There is variation in hair and eye colour in most Seasons, but nowhere more than True Winter and the Brights. I’m not sure of the answer from a genetic perspective. I don’t think anyone can answer the magic of how harmony happens in spite what our eyes think they see. Maybe the mysteries should remain mysteries.

The way I reason it is that we don’t know the exact pigments that make up our hair and eyes.  If I showed you 20 brown eyes, could you pick out your own? Would you pick the same brown as your friends would choose? Would you pick the same browns, yellows, oranges, and other colours, that the drapes (consistent with the Sci\ART colour calibrations) identify within your colouring? Probably not, on any count. We do not know which colours make up our final colours until one is draped. If you knew and wore the ingredients that go into your total hair and eye colours, you’d be utterly flattered.

Bright Spring has many yellows, beer and clear cider colours. When they have dark hair, it’s usually root beer and black tea. It is never coffee, which only looks heavy and thick on a colouring that is as far from those as you can get. Lighter brown hair is herbal tea, not orangey-muted-gold, not velvety-dense-brown. It might look ash brown or medium brown but it isn’t.  It is clear. While clear means high chroma, and transparency is not a quality by which we define colour (because colour can be bright or soft and still see-through), this hair is like coloured cellophane.


Photo: boogy_man


People with green, blue and grey eyes seem to always look great if they match their clothes to their irises.

I would not agree. Blue eyes will match blue drapes or blue clothes in any Season but the best match is only in one. It’s not even a difficult decision. Some aspects of a correct analysis are challenging for a woman to perceive on herself. Achieving the ultimate eye colour is usually easy.

The colour a woman has matched to her eyes all her life is never the best or correct one in my experience. She needs her Colour Book to direct her to her turquoise and only then will her eyes become all they could be. I see women hope they’re wearing their eye colour all the time and most cases, they’re barely in the ballpark.

Blue eyes under Spring influence (one of the 5 possible Seasons) are seldom blue. They’re turquoise, aqua, or cornflower (light blue with very little green, the cornflower being one of the few truly blue flowers, but to me, appears a little violet). It’s a beautiful thing when you find it.


Photo: mzacha


Not just me but a lot of brown-eyed people can’t wear brown.

Quite right, many brown eyed people are Winters of some sort and have very little brown in their palette. And when they’re draped, darned if much of the brown in the eyes suddenly turns black and then they’re wearing their real eye colour at last.

Hair and eye colours as they appear are often not in the True Winter, Bright Winter, and Bright Spring palettes.  I think the way it works is that the contributing base pigments are there but the mix isn’t.

You could say to me, “OK then, if I could take colours from my palette and mix them, are you saying that I could theoretically make my hair and eye colour from the swatches? ”

I think so but the truth is that I don’t know for sure if any and every mixture would still guarantee that the hue/value/chroma remain constant. If you mixed complements, you would mute the colour if either of the originals contained the complement of the other. You’d mute the resulting colour into a more muted Season.

To make clear green (say, Winter), you need a blue and a yellow without red, I would think. Could it be done? Winter colours contain red, but are there a blue and a yellow without red? I’m not enough of a colour mixer to know.

Thinking out loud now…To make clear orange (Spring), you’d need a red and a yellow that contain no blue. That seems possible, Spring colours are not blue-based, though some contain blue.

Clear violet – needs a blue that leans red and a red with some blue in it, neither of which contain the complement of violet, yellow. That could make a brilliantly clear violet, even a violent violet, if it’s necessary – sure it is, for Winters. How is that done for Spring where yellow appears in every colour? Haven’t figured that out yet.

Can I make amber or warm brown eyes with a True Winter palette? I think so. True Winter contains yellow, very saturated, a little blue without turning it green. It also contains the other primaries of red and blue. Three primaries make brown.

True Winter and the Bright Tones are intricate and unique types of colouring. Not inconsistent, just complex. Which is why I suggest they think twice before colouring their hair. I have never seen it be improved enough to balance the cost, time, and upkeep.


Photo: lcrumling


I can match clothes to the rim around my iris (which is sort of a dark periwinkle) and it is quite flattering but if I wear clothes that are the same brown as my irises I look washed out.

So it’s not the right brown that you’re wearing, it’s just the one you think you see as the amalgamation of all the many colours in your iris. Good call to notice that the rim of the iris is different and if you can match it, a superlative colour on every person.


 How can brown-eyed people can be any Season, but only Autumns can look great wearing brown clothes and makeup? 

There are a million versions of brown eyes. Brown eyes can be in any Season, but they won’t all be the same brown. Same with the 12 Tone palettes. Many Tones have brown choices but they’re not the same brown.

Nine in ten women only find out their real eye colour when they are draped. Those brown-eyed people you refer to in your question and the browns that you refer to looking great on Autumns… very unlikely the same brown.


Photo: mokra



Are cool hair and warm skin possible?

I was snow white blonde as a child, but am now a dark, ashy blonde. It’s a cool colour.

 Dark ash blonde could be found on a cool, neutral, or warm person. Apparent hair colour isn’t tightly tied to the true heat level of your colouring, though your overall contributing colours and appearance are always 100% in harmony. Every person. The true heat level of your hair is perfectly consistent with the heat level of your skin and everything else.

We could take your dark, ash brown hair and place it next to five other dark, ashy heads. It would be interesting to see whose is cool, whose warm, and whose is neutral in between cool and warm. I would guess that your hair wouldn’t be the coolest if we compared it on a scale. It might be cool-ish, but that’s not Absolute Cool.

Because you know, Absolute Cool and Absolute Warm, they’re rare in human colouring. Kind of extreme. I haven’t seen a True Autumn or True Winter in ages. I see several Neutral Season versions of Autumn and Winter every month. The thing to wrap your head around is Neutral. What does it mean? What does it look like?

Just playing the odds, you are neither warm nor cool in skin and hair. If you’re like eight or nine people in ten, why wouldn’t you be, you’re a Neutral Season that might lean towards cool.

Whatever you are, cool, warm, or somewhere in between, the setting is the same in all your features. One genetic code governs your paintbox.


Photo: otbora


 But I have medium light skin with golden undertones and no rosiness in the cheeks. All I see is yellow. Wouldn’t that be warm?

Colour analysis, which guides every colour decision you will make, isn’t about what you look like or appear to look like. Your natural colouring group, Tone, Season, is determined in the one way that can truthfully reveal it: how the colours in you react to other colours. Nobody can know their truthful colouring correctly without testing their own skin’s reactions against an organized and measured set of colours in a colour-neutral environment. If your colours react the way you expect them to, you would be that one person in 50 who knew ahead of time what was going to happen. That’s why it’s so hard to do from books and photos and impossible from verbal descriptions.

Your skin probably is light-medium. What colour your undertone is, or even whether it’s warm/cool/neutral, nobody knows till we test and measure it. Why am I so sure? Because nobody who comes to a colour analysis appointment is ever wearing their correct foundation – until we solve that question forever more and show you how to make the best choice.


Photo: thegnome54


If my hair is overly golden, my skin looks red. When it’s natural dark ashy color, highlighted with platinum, it looks tanned and alive. Just natural it is bland. Dark red wasn’t good. But when I went a more natural dark blonde with subtle red tones, I got many compliments. Dark golden blonde, more of a caramel, washes me out, as does all over light blonde with no contrasting darker pieces. Can someone have a seemingly warm complexion with cooler toned ash hair?

Actually it’s really common. Usual, in fact. Though there’s lots of good colour observation here, the description could occur in many of the 12 types of colouring. Sounds to me like you have cool-neutral skin with a little warmth, but placed next to wrong hair colour, it will look warmer than it really is.  You may have a false yellow overtone, like many cool Neutral Seasons, and be interpreting that as your golden undertones and yellow warmth from the previous question.

Too yellow hair does make faces red, especially True and Soft Summer, I find. But then, there’s a disconnect in your comments. Dark ash with platinum sets up big distance between lightest and darkest, which I find looks right on nobody.

On Summer, their light/dark range isn’t this wide, since it goes from pastel to mid-dark, not icy light to very dark (which is Winter). And so it follows that their best highlight is not that far from the base colour, or else they look striped and severe.

On Winter, they do have this big light/dark range but putting it in the hair is only disruptive, breaking up their force. The randomness looks messy when placed on a colour language that is very far from random. Of course, nothing applies to everybody and you can’t generalize about hair colour across an entire Tone. Some Lights are not flattered by highlights either.

3/4 of women would say their natural hair colour is bland. Not remotely true but media has taught us that it is so they could sell us hair colour. The hair industry, ay? Their biggest problem is that they think they’re fine. Many women would not attest to that – the same ones who bought $40 a bottle of wrong foundation colour. Women love their colourist most of the time. We feel real friendship and loyalty. But regarding our faith that we really are wearing our very best hair colour? Not so sure. Hair is a trend-driven industry – highlights, lowlights, we’ve never tried copper, let’s go lighter. We only have one skin colour. It is illogical that we could be flattered by five hair colours. Become the expert of your own appearance.

Until you are wearing your best clothes and makeup, your natural hair colour will not appear as beautiful and perfect as it is – so I advise women after a PCA to make one trip to the salon to get the heat level set right and come closer to their natural colour. Then leave the hair for a few weeks and work on the clothes and makeup. Your eyes need time to readjust to the real original you and to absorb how your better colours affect your apparent hair colour by making it look perfect and ideal. Then you can really see your hair colour and you can go back to the salon, hopefully only one more time, and finish the fine tuning.

Also, once a woman has had many hair colours, she and those who have seen all those colours can’t make a solid judgment any longer. There’s just too much history swirling around. Someone outside your box needs to touch the reset button. I nominate your friendly neighbourhood colour analyst.


Photo: ElvisFan76


I am at a loss as to what color to dye my hair.

I’m at a loss too till your colours are accurately analyzed. You are like 98% of the real people in the real world who seem conflicting. You’re not. Nobody is. Everyone’s colours make complete sense.

Once we have your Tone understood, every single aspect of your colouring and the colour decisions to follow are consistent and coherent. It’s not even hard. Once we know the truth, each one of us is very logical and connected in our colouring.

But. Even knowing your Tone, I still couldn’t give blanket hair colour advice that would cover every woman equally well. Everyone makes her own darkness adjustment within a Tone. Not everyone is necessarily improved by departure from her natural hair as it grows out of her head. And for nobody is this more true than the Bright Seasons.


Photo: Jan Willem Geertsma


Art and Science

Not being able to explain a thing doesn’t make it not true.

C. said it so beautifully here,

…the science of light, the discovery that it is both particle and wave and how it behaves erratically when observed. So nature is evasive and we can not reduce everything in the world around us to neat mathematical equations

….artists working in isolation through history have been representing through symbol what scientists have been discovering in the lab at the same(ish) time and not even known it. Think of the cubists and surrealists relating back to Einstein’s new world of curved space and the theory of relativity, or the complex inherent patterns in Jackson Pollocks’ work reflecting a new understanding of the complex, previously overlooked patterns in nature.

It seems artists, at least revolutionary ones, had/have a deep unconscious understanding of the stuff of the universe and represent it through symbol before we have the words or the science to explain.

All of these threads…point in the same direction. Colour theory, it seems, is not about finding the best lipstick. It is recognizing we are made of the stuff of the stars and finding our place in the universe.




Lilia is a Dark Winter

October 31, 2012 by · 17 Comments 

We share zodiac signs, Meyers Briggs types, and Season. How could we not have a day of the analysis and philosophy of beauty and self?


Here we begin. Cuteness beyond words.


Draping and Black

Once she had a chance to review the journey of her colour analysis, Lilia asked,

At first, we did the four drapings of black, brown, silver, and gold. We saw that black gave a severe look and was the worst followed by silver and gold which all gave something good and bad, and then brown that felt comfy but not striking.

So why in the world would I wear that black color on me if I know it was the worst on the first drapes we saw. If there is some color I should combine as a basic and then adjust to my Tone, why could it be more the brown that was the best of the four ? (from what I remember but maybe I have a bias in my memory?)


You’re remembering the very first drapes where the categories are still very broad. When I use those first four drapes, I am not thinking in terms of Season decisions. We were gathering information about what your skin does placed next to different colours. Only True Seasons will have definite Yes/No reactions, but they’re 1 person in 10.

We will see better and worse effects with all four of these early drapes. Dark Winter often looks comfortable in True Autumn if you ignore the yellow because they have a little muting and that type of warmth. Their eyes often connect with some Spring colour characteristics – why? Because they find and harmonize with the higher saturation.  I think in terms of “skin better with gold than yellow, eyes better with higher saturation” rather than “Winter over Summer”. All four of these first drapes can be equally success and compromise, even the one we might pick as best.

Black wasn’t Lilia’s worst. It was the best in some ways, despite too much shadowing. Summer silver grey was non-existent, diminishing of her and diminished by her. The drapes have an effect on us and we have an effect right back on them. The skin was fogged in, cloudy, yellowish, almost polluted – what Winter colours do to Summer colours when held side-by-side. Winter’s white makes Summer’s white look yellowish even though it’s not, it’s slightly blue-pink-muted. Only black cleared the smog to perfect the skin tone, removed the jaundice of Spring and Autumn, and brought definition to the features. Too much definition? Certainly, but we adjust that later on in the process.

Those first drapes represent the extremes of that pure Tone. Very few people wear them perfectly. I haven’t seen a True Winter (or True Autumn) in forever. Yes, it is a compromise to choose black as the best, but at the first drapes, everything is a compromise unless you’re a True Season. Plus, our eyes hadn’t yet learned all they were going to. They had many more comparisons to absorb. The process adjusts and adjusts. That True  Winter black is too blue-black and too shiny but there are many blacks, just like many blues, and so on. Dark Winter’s is a little warmer, a little duller. Extract some Winter blue, hold it in front of a diesel exhaust for a moment (meaning add a little Autumn gold), et voila! Dark Winter white extracts a little of True Winter’s blue and adds a drop of dark chocolate(Autumn gold).



I don’t suggest all black on anyone, even in your best black. It looks Babushka. It makes a person look older. Colour is younger without even trying. Head to toe black is outdated, an urban myth, an energy flat line. But Dark Winter can and should wear black. It is a very basic wardrobe colour on that Tone.  Some Dark Winters feel that dark brown or dark blue are more modern than black to wear with other colours and I don’t disagree at all. With black, the pendulum went too far and it’s time to center it again.

On Dark Winter, it’s only black that I don’t love best when it’s shiny. Shine exaggerates. Light gets lighter, warm seems warmer, cold, colder.  All the other colours in the Tone are equally good matte or shiny. My opinion only, Bright Winter is shinier than even Winter’s usual high shine. Dark Winter is the least super shiny.


That Green!

I take a lot of heat about this particular green. In the Masterpiece Drapes we show at the end of the session, there are 15 stunning colours for that Tone. About the green, every single woman says, “Are you sure?” She is uncomfortable and squirmy. She declares, “Ok, well, I’ll never own anything in this colour!” Some go out and it’s the first purchase they make (that’s usually the woman who’s given  me the most heat over it :))

I still only own it as a facing on the collar of a red vest. I don’t remember it from my own PCA. But what did I know? We analyzed my family of 5 and found 3 True Seasons and  2 Neutral Seasons that were the same. Meant nothing to me. We could have been 5 Bright Springs and that would have seemed normal.

In a year, a woman owns an item from about half of her palette. She is comfortable in her more perfect makeup colours, and she pulls out the palette and thinks, “Look at that colour. Why have I never seen it before? Why do I not own anything in that colour?” And the world of you opens up a tiny bit more.



The green is important in the wholeness of you. Every one of your colours is. We get caught up wearing our six best but no landscape is complete with only that. We need our earth and bark, our bitters and sweets, to present our totality. We are a balance of our light and shadow places. The circle of life, the equilibrium that must exist. Your colours can access parts of you that you can’t reach on the day of your colour analysis. You don’t know about these levels and regions of you yet. The colours are looking further down the road of you.

There is a tendency to see these final drapes as 15 turtlenecks. They are wherever you insert them. Your eyes will capture one button on a friend’s coat. A navy coat is far more interesting with a narrow green band sewn into to the cuff or lining, or the whole lining!, than it would be as a solid navy block. The person is communicated more completely, as the multilayered individuals that we are. How amazing is it when your clothing can be that accurate about you?


The One and Only Magic

Lilia remarked,

Today, I wore lipstick and I just saw my lips, no harmony, just biiiiiiig lip color! I went back home and indeed it was a true winter sample. But on the palette it was good and did harmonize well! Also my coat is a navy blue, not as dark as the one in the fan but with more saturation and clearer. Funny how yesterday with a deeper blue/and black, I got complimented each time crossing someone and today, nothing. Seems true winter colors on me are awful and it makes such a difference switching from dark winter to true winter!


No question, it is unbelievable how the little adjustments make a giant difference in how you look and feel once your eyes and heart are sensitized to it.  If you can’t quite tell if a colour matches for saturation, look at it another way. Is it too blue? True Winter is where you may find most errors, but they’ll all be too blue.

How close your choices have to be to the swatches is something  many women wonder about. Next post: 3 Weeks After Your Colour Analysis.



I wonder if colour analysts agree that we don’t meet people and work at guessing their Season before the draping begins. But subsconsciously, we analyze every person we meet – and for me, on every aspect of our interaction. True Winter will wear makeup to the appointment. I’ve only met 5 or 6 and it has not failed. They will find a way. The Lights will say, “Sheer is never sheer enough.” Dark Winter will tell me fairly early on what they don’t like. Lilia doesn’t like any version of purple, from the iced violet that is usually a favorite, to any other version. Burgundy felt much better.

She said, “I showed my PCA pictures to some people, and each time it’s Ooooooh that purple is SO beautiful on you! Dammit! As I see it, it is really a big deal because it’s the undertone.”




Yes, approximately what I see as the undertone of Dark Winter. As you’ll read in my book, I don’t really know what undertone is as a biological layer. Nobody ever defines it in a way that makes sense to me so I do what I always do – I make up my own version till I hear a better one. The book (RTYNC over in the right column) shows the undertones as I see them today, though for some (like Bright Winter), there were a couple of choices (not Dark Winter).

I’ve read that undertone is the colour of our different bloods. That implies structural changes to hemoglobin, doesn’t it? It’s not implausible that it could change its molecular structure enough to alter its colour without impeding its binding with oxygen. Who’s going to fund the research to prove it? What drug could be developed based on the data? Undertone is a bit of an aura feeling I get, though I’d never put that in a book. It’s like the sum total of the glow of the individual. Does that imply that I can see it before the draping? No way. My eyes need to see the reactions of your skin just as much as yours do.

Lilia: So from what I understand, I chose the only colour I hate in the world to be my very number 1 good colour.

Ok, Number 1, it’s funny.

But on a psychological level, philosopher that I am, I’m sure we have an intuition for colour. I’m sure we deeply know and recognize what’s good or not. When I see my wardrobe I can find a lot of consistency with Dark Winter. Why would I have eliminated the best colour on me ?

Christine: Yes, it is funny. And, for me, fun. I love to take you as far as possible from the woman you arrived as. I want to open every window in your mind that you will allow so you can see yourself as you never have. Your choice of words is so good, “I chose the only colour I hate…”, because you did.

Many women wonder why they have aversions to their best colour, even on a larger scale of “Why would I eliminate my entire Season?” I don’t know but I’ve talked about it or around it a lot. We lose our path. We hear other voices than our own from when we were that little face up at the top. We believe compliments to be accurate when in fact, compliments are always always emotionally invested. We don’t love who or what we are. We need permission to be our real selves. So many things.

Lilia: Is there something to fear about being beautiful?

C: Yes, I think there is. One woman said she actually felt uncomfortable being noticed for this reason. Like separating herself from the safety net of her human tribe. Like having to live up to a newer, bigger, fuller, stronger level of herself. When I pray, I don’t ask for cash or prizes. I ask for the health, happiness, and safety of those I love. And I ask that I can be enough to achieve the things I want. Could that be it? Could we feel afraid that we’re not going to be enough for what this new face communicates?



Philosopher’s Beauty

Lilia: Yesterday, I was wearing good colours. I was complimented and I felt SO awkward. That was so unusual. I didn’t expect that effect. I thought that I already had good colours in my makeup and clothes base. I felt that I just needed a few changes to put all of them together and the difference wouldn’t be that much that anyone would notice except me.

ERROR. I discovered there is a “wow” effect. There is a magical effect. (that magical effect  that I didn’t have with TW colours today). Now, I can now recognize it very well when “the magic” is here.

C: Those photos we took are striking in a visceral way. Only the exposure and saturation are raised a trace to show the true colours. Often with those last drapes and the makeup on, my heart rate speeds up. It’s very physiologic. The beauty of it makes me light-headed. My breathing patterns change because my brainwaves are altered. It’s not just me, I just have thought about it more.

Lilia: Colours are waves. Anybody who had already knows a little physics knows how waves and frequency work: when you add the same ones together and you have a signal amplified.  Adding contrary ones gives a zero signal. I just realized today how obvious it is to link colour analysis with the theory of amplification in physics.

M: Synchrony >> Synergy = More than the sum of its parts. Interference theory.

You get better at seeing magic when you compare closer and farther over the next few weeks of learning your colours. The closer to the palette, the better. With every shopping expedition, you will compromise less.


Reading to Grow Your Soul

Lilia brought this into my world. You will feel closer to who you want to be and how you’re going to get there. From before The Secret took over our co-creation paradigms.

Click on The Game of Life and How to Play It.

If you re-read or remember any part of it because you never heard it said that way,  then donate.


Use of Images

The images contained in this article are of private individuals, not celebrities. I consider the permission for me to use them as a privilege. It is my intention to protect these women’s privacy and generosity. If you use any of the photos without permission, I will seek legal counsel. I do not want to have to reduce the beauty and detail of the photographs with watermarks.

This is a learning site. Please do use my words with credit back to the web page you copied and pasted them from. If you mix up my meaning and get the message wrong, feel free to omit any reference back to me.



How To Match Foundation

October 20, 2012 by · 13 Comments 

Women bring their own foundation to their colour analysis. One in eight has the best colour choice possible for her skin. Seems apt to talk about it.

The Wrong Hair Colour Merry Go Round

If the hair is too warm the skin is too yellow. You will be matched to too warm a foundation. You will look warmer than you are. Your hair colourist will keep warming up your hair, not noticing that your face is getting yellower, redder, and oilier looking. You will keep applying more makeup. Clothing colours will get more and more out of the loop because you feel something is off and can’t tell what it is. Coping with picking right clothing feels overwhelming.

Solution: Wear your correct clothing colours to go shopping. Tie back your hair with a correct coloured scarf till it can be fixed.

Photo: awestlan


The Try-To-Match-My-Eyes Merry Go Round

We do not know our true eye colour simply by looking at it. Uploading the eye photo and extracting the colours can be surprisingly revealing. Likely not one of them will be what you think your eye colour is. The problem here is that you’ve taken your eye out of its context, meaning its surrounding colours in your face and hair. With colour, context is a deal breaker.

Many Light Summers try to match their eye colour in clothing. They can feel that their eye is more than just blue. They can feel that their eye is hazy, not Caribbean ocean clear. They gravitate to Autumn’s teal. That’s more than blue and hazy in its own muted way. On them, this colour looks bigger and darker than they are, like wearing curtains, so they amp up the makeup to match the teal. The young, fresh, sexy appeal of Light Summer evaporates. Dark makeup on light-coloured faces drags everything downward. On everyone, it’s light colour that lifts. Foundation then becomes too warm, dark, and heavy in texture. And on it goes.

Given comparisons, turns out they were close. Their true eye colour is Light Summer turquoise. Not only blue. Hazy. She was so close but got the exact type and amount of heat wrong. How could anybody know unless they were tested in a controlled and correct environment? The apparent similarities are definitely there, but oh what a difference those last little adjustments make in the final image. 10 years on your face or a little more than that.

Often, the Light Summer/Soft Autumn divide isn’t a decision I make till fairly late in the PCA process. Light Summer often wears Soft Autumn warmth in hair, which looks like a heavy hat, like wearing a crochet tea cozy on a shorter-looking person.

Solution: Have thy colours analyzed and take control of thine own appearance. Your Colour Book has your eye colours exactly, all of them.

Photo: plom


Wait a minute here. Did I just say that your 12 Tone Colour Book based on the 12 colour collections derived by Sci\ART founder Kathryn Kalisz contains every single one of your colours in every person all the time?? Surely not. You’re a golden eyed, medium brown haired Bright Winter. Show  me those in the Bright Winter swatches. As time goes on and I see more, literally and figuratively, I have come to this:

Digression: Every One Of Everyone’s Colours Are In Kathryn’s 12 Tones

I draped a True Winter man. In the Luxury Drapes (Final Drapes), his wife and I could easily see blue and purple colours within the gray of his beard. We have all seen hair so black it’s blue. The brown haired Bright Winter has unique, special hair very unlike Summer medium brown. Someone might call them both medium brown or ash brown. If the hair is on your head and you’ve never stood beside a Summer medium brown and compared, you might think it’s the same. But it’s not. Put Summer’s medium ash brown hair colour on this head and she looks nearer to death.

I have learned the lesson that colours are never what I think they are. What if the swatch books developed by Kathryn, with every colour fully consistent with every other in all 3 dimensions of colour, were 100% right? About every colour in every person, skin, hair, eyes, teeth, veins, the whole deal.

What if we are wrong thinking that a warm brown eye in True Winter is an anomaly? How audacious of us to know better than Nature and a genetic code we barely comprehend. From the track record of getting things right, Nature is out far ahead of humans. She deserves the benefit of the doubt. What if it’s perfectly rational and reasonable that a Light Summer have brown eyes or red hair, even if we can’t see those colours per se in the swatch book? Humans couldn’t explain rain or reproduction not so long ago.

Nature gets everyone 100% consistent. Every feature. No exceptions. Our entire biology is supervised by one genetic code. Every one of your original pigments are in the swatch books. I’d even extend this to include apparent surface colour of the skin, meaning the colour foundation we buy, whether you appear yellow, orange, brown, pink, or white. It’s the mixtures and how they come out in your body that may not be in the swatch books. But I would bet that you could sit down with your swatches as pots of paint and create all your colours just as they appear on your body from those pots of paint. Lots of ways to make the brown of an amber Winter eye. Brown needs three primary colours and Winter has all three. How our eye looks as an amalgamated colour and what pigments participated in the first place are not the same, I’m certain of it.

You literally have thousands of colours in you that could have been in the personal colour analyzed palettes. The Winter amber eye is not like the Soft Autumn or Bright Spring one. Test them with comparisons. I can guarantee that they won’t be identical.

You know that I write this website because I’m trying to figure it all out too. Convince me I’m wrong. Please. All I want is to understand the truth.


Photo: Xtyn24


The  “Why that just disappears into your neck” Merry Go Round

Don’t assume the salesperson knows how to match foundation correctly regardless of how slick he/she is about it. She may have gone to a weekend course. She does want you to look great but she has pressures of her own from higher up. She only has her product line to pick from. Mall lighting is the cheapest they can install.

Holding plastic swatches to your face is not enough. Stripes on arms and hands is useless. One stripe on the face and it’s a match – so not good enough. Maybe holding up plastic discs to your skin is acceptable at the drugstore if there are no samples, but at the department store? The nuances of the pigment mixture and the chemistry of our body are just the beginning of the shortcomings of coloured plastic.

Our visual system is comparison based. This is a given. It is how human brain structure is organized. There is no point in fighting it. If you have a hair or eyelash stuck in your mascara wand, do you hold it up against a black wall or a white wall to see it?

You need 4 or 5 stripes on the side of the cheek and jaw. Wait 60 seconds for it to fuse with the skin if it’s going to. Look at it for another 120 seconds and don’t make decisions. Only notice that the longer you look, the more different the stripes become from each other. Now pick the one that’s hardest to see. Can’t tell? Smear them out more on the face.

If you can’t tell if a blouse is your green, go around the store and pick out a few green things. No need for them to be your Season. The hot minute your eye is given a range, it gets busy because it knows how to do comparison. It will position the colour in your perception quite accurately. Staring and thinking and struggling will only take you so far. It’s like forcing a memory. It just goes further away. Give your eye what it wants: comparison. Then your brain says “This, I get. Now I see what you want from me. OK, no problem. Here you go. Here’s your answer.”

Solution: Insist on several stripes. Do the waiting of 60 and 120 seconds. Remove the obvious Nos. Start again. Ask for samples. If it feels like a selling game authority conflict for a single second, run to your nearest Sephora store.

Photo: bardoin


Who’s zooming who?

The company is not doing you a favour by offering samples. The markup on this stuff is a zillion million %.  The company’s bosses live in castles. Do not be too grateful.

Think of it like this. You are doing the company a favour by offering them a moment of your attention out of your day. You are doing them an even bigger favour by giving them the willingness to bring their product into your home and to apply it on your body and offer it yet more attention.

They’re going to recover the cost of those samples in their first next sale.


Ending On A Happy Note

I have a Dark Winter soul sister who brought her gorgeous daughter to learn what she could look like by choosing certain colours over others. When Cheryl (whom you’ve met before in You Know Your Colours – Now What?) and I met, I felt this reciprocity thing, like I was talking to myself (we do not look alike). A common Dark Winter feeling is “I can tell it like it is or I can waste everyone’s time being all careful.” She and I share it in spades. We laugh about it. She brought me this pack of gum as a gift.



It was a week ago and I’m still laughing. When I walk the dog, I hope the neighbours don’t drive past and see this lone woman laughing all by herself. I’m typing and laughing. I love my friend, Cheryl.

(The photo is linked to a site with a lot of other funny stuff. You too could be sitting alone in traffic ROTFL.)



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